Monday, January 30, 2006

Happy Year of the Dog

Yesterday I went to Chinatown with my flatmates to check out the Chinese New Year celebrations that were being held. we arrived too late for the firecracker demonstration, but we did get to join the massive throng of people that was following the Lion as it danced down the street. Here he is eating a lettuce that was hanging in front of the restaurant door:
All the businesses in Chinatown had hung lettuces for the lion. It is supposed to be lucky for the business to have the lion eat their lettuce.

After we managed to squeeze our way out of the crowd (the crowd came to a corner, the lion and his followers went one way, we went the other), we walked around to see the other goings-on. There was a mini-carnival with rides for small children, a stage for dances and other performances, and about 20 stalls selling Chinese goods and advertising for various community associations. It wasn't a huge endeavour, but I was quite impressed at the turnout!

Later in the afternoon I went yarn shopping... or tried to, anyway. Neither Fenwick's nor John Lewis had the 3.5mm circular needle that I needed, nor did they seem to have any appropriate yarn for the baby gift that I want to make for a friend... can anyone recommend a non-acrylic, yet easily washable yarn that would be suitable for a blanket? I want to make one of these Pinwheel blankets, but I can't seem to find any decent yarns that a) wash relatively easily, b) are a suitable weight, and c) won't cost me a fortune to make. I can think of a couple of Canadian brands that might work (Bernat Cottontots has caught my eye, or maybe Mission Falls Wool), but I need to start this soon, and therefore need to find a british equivalent... any thoughts? (yeah, ok, I guess I could just order the yarn from Yarn Forward, but seeing as they're located only a few blocks from where I live in Ottawa, it kills me to have to pay 12 pounds for shipping!).



If you want wool there is a sirdar superwash wool (DK weight) that they used to stock in John Lewis. It's not exciting but it is soft, 100% wool (so won't stick to baby's skin should they be unfortunate enough to get involved in a fire!) and easily washable. Only thing is, I'm not sure that it comes in 'babyish' colours. I really like Jaegar's baby merino (4ply) for colours and quality but it ain't cheap.

For an economical cotton I'd recommend the Patons DK. Again, not exciting but it washes well and it much cheaper than the Rowan and Jaegar cottons. They definately have it in JL, they might have it in Fenwicks.

JL and Fenwicks needle selection is pretty crap. Yarnsmith have a sale on at the minute - might be worth checking their site out - there's a link from my blog if you need it. You can always ask one of the gals if we can lend you a needle - I don't have a 3.5mm circular but I'm sure someone will :)

Impressionist said...

I was wrong about the Sirdar, it's nylon and acrylic... but sounds like Purlpower has some good leads that I might follow too!